Saturday, September 07, 2013

My Barmaid Friend Pt 1

I worked for a short time in hotel. It was called the Forresters Arms and it was in the suburb of Oakleigh. I think it has another name now. My fellow staff were great. I enjoyed the company of all them. I was only a casual employee. When the pub tills were short, I was sacked. My fellow workers said they would support me in a challenge, but I was young and silly and did not bother and frankly, I was over working there. I went on to work at a Brighton hotel, and the lads and ladesses with their posh ways quickly got under my skin and I lasted only a couple of days. I then went on to work at Babes Disco at the Chevron Hotel in St Kilda Road. I lasted a couple of nights there and there ended my bar tending career.

But at the Forresters Arms, I chummed up with an older single woman who had a teenage son. It is only in retrospect that I realise how gorgeous her son Des was and in spite of his mother's rather odd living circumstances, he was a perfectly normal kid of his age, only a couple of years my junior.

I'll call her Ollie, to protect her privacy. My god, she must be nearly dead by now. I was eighteen and she was forty plus.

Ah, I had nearly forgotten this but she was my ballroom dancing partner too at some place in Bentleigh. Star Ballroom, that was the name, but we also went to dances at Hawthorn Town Hall and St Kilda Town Hall. Sometimes after dancing, we would go to a pub in Burwood Road, Hawthorn. Her boyfriend often drank there. What was his name? Nope, can't remember. I think the pub was called The Glenferrie.

Come to Queensland and meet my sister, she asked. Ok......Flying was unthinkably expensive then. We drove in her car, an old Holden station wagon. The night before we left, it blew a welsh plug and I recall we found a service station in High Street Prahran where the welsh plug was replaced. Try finding a someone in High Street Prahran now who could replace a welsh plug. In fact, you don't hear of welsh plugs anymore.

I kissed my grandmother goodbye and off we went. There was some road flooding in NSW and back then even though I was a skilled driver with all the confidence in the world, the car wallowed and dived about the road. Many cars had come to grief and could be seen in the paddocks as we passed by. Somehow I kept the pace up and remained on the road. I couldn't do it now.

We must have stayed somewhere along the way. Gundagia. We stayed in a cheap motel. I saw the Dog on the Tuckerbox for the first time. Dubbo. Stayed there too. I just can't remember the details now. No, it was one or the other. Dubbo, I am sure. Quite a nice motel, not so cheap and very new. Oh how my memory fails me.

Ollie had a friend in Towoomba. He had been an ambulance driver in Melbourne. He and his wife put us up for the night and gave us a Towoomba garden tour the next day.There was a terrible flood disaster there a couple of years ago and I felt some personal connection as I knew the locations. The escarpment was amazing.

Finally we were on the outskirts of Brisbane but the car's alternator died. It was repaired in Ipswitch, but it was not budgeted for. I called my grandmother and asked her to wire us some money. She did and in non tech days, I cannot imagine how that worked.

There is now a blank about where we stayed. I just don't remember, but somehow one evening we drove up a hill in Brisbane to a beautiful park overlooking Brisbane. I remember now, Mount Cootha. We must have stayed somewhere in Brisbane, but I can't remember. We drove to the Gold Coast and I swam in the sea. I had never experienced warm water in the ocean before and it was a curious thing. We went further north. I remember the Sunshine Coast, the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains and the gorgeous town of Nambour. But I was starting to feel a bit hot and sweaty. It went way downhill from there.

Part 2 another day.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Murdoch haters of the world unite

Television stations have refused to run this advertisement made be the activist group Get Up. It is hardly offensive, rather just states a few facts. It is only 40 seconds long. Take a look.

Just another Friday funicular

Somebody, whose name may be Gattina, may be holidaying in another country on the shores of Lake Geneva in a place called Thonon-les-Bains. I have not heard of it. Google Maps is my friend, sometimes. Last week it sent me to a wrong address in town and I had to rush up the Bourke Street hill on foot to make an appointment on time. 490 Bourke Street is not on the corner of Elizabeth Street and I should have followed my instinct that 490 would be further west.

Anyway, as I typed Thonon-les, up came the correct name and there it is, on the French side of Lake Geneva, speaking of which, missing you Kath.

Oh look. It has a funicular. I do like a good funicular. As I was watching I became confused by the tracks and then alarmed as the car going up approached the car going down. I thought they would pass on the opposite sides, but of course not in France.

The funicular connects the centre of city to the port of Rives. It opened in 1888 and was renovated in 1951 and 1989.

There is a watching paint dry video here filmed from outside the car. A minute or so is enough to appreciate the scene.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Bye Bye Jack

Our friend has returned from overseas and so we sadly returned Jack to her this morning. The arranged time was 10,  but she and her girlfriend were still in bed and sound asleep. Her normally spotlessly tidy place was a mess, strewn with the accoutrements of travel and a nice bottle of Chivas Regal for us, along with a box of Turkish Delight. I wonder which will last longer? My money is on the Chivas.

Myself and R left her place and went to a cafe for brunch. After some quite warm weather, it had turned cold, grey and wet. It did not put us off our scrambled eggs with chorizo , mushrooms and tomatoes and fantastic coffee.

Now several hours later I am hungry and it is still a while until dinner time. Several pieces of Turkish Delight is not like having a late lunch. I'll just have one more piece.

Jack loved the morning sun and no, that is not the remains of his mother on the couch.

Hot Guy, single X

I am not talking about who you may wish to spend the rest of your life with, I am talking about base (I need one of French symbols over the a there) sexual attraction. How does that work then?

Aren't we all attracted to a nice looking face? For mine, it is dark and smouldering Latin looks. But Latin looks come with hairy bodies, and I prefer smooth  bodies, like a Asian body but then I like black men too and they can vary from hairy to smooth. Why are red heads always so good at the biz? Ok, it could be summarised as I like men, in all their variations.

In spite of my partner being older than I am, and he was when I was younger too, haha, he was once young and I find young men attractive, especially if they are a bit alternative. It is seldom I find older men attractive in a sexual way, but here is one who really turns me on.

He is a local comedian, a reformed heroin user who is still taking methadone. His voice sounds like that of an older man, no doubt honed by drugs, drinks, cigarettes and a wicked lifestyle. He identifies as being straight, but has 'walked on the wild side' once at least. He has been on tv in Underbelly as a prisoner who raped a young fellow prisoner and also in the past as a comedian.

At our dyke friend's insignificant birthday at a St Kilda hotel, out of the blue he bought her a beer because it was her birthday. She didn't have a clue who he was, but I knew and had to tell her who it was.

He fits none of the above criteria of mine for hot, yet I find him incredibly sexy. I don't expect you to understand, but it just works for me.

His name is Greg Fleet. One can have some fantasies, surely.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

One's depressing democratic duty.

I really feel like not voting this election and paying the fine. The result is already clear. It will be The Abbott who will be elected, an ultra conservative right winger who will cut deeply into social justice programmes, government schools and general public amenity.

He says he will a Prime Minister for infrastructure. Yes, like roads, not public transport and not fibre optic to the less wealthy in society. I fear for Medicare. I fear he will be controlled by the Murdoch press. So depressing.

The Greens, who I have voted for in the last few elections? I cannot tolerate their bleeding heart refugee policies. I have actually looked at them. They are not dissimilar to the major parties, but general kindness would cause a flood of boat arrivals. I believe in an organised system for refugees. The Karen in Burma are quite high on my list. They are not only persecuted and deserving, they 'fit' into Australian society. While it is a generalisation, Moslem refugees have not been a great fit. I do believe in most of The Greens environmental policies though, but I see their immigration and refugee policies at odds with environment.

I am naturally inclined to be a Labor voter, but the waste that we have seen under Labor over its time in government is appalling.

I might vote for the Sex Party who believe in legalising drugs, prohibition clearly hasn't worked, and taxing the trade. Then preference The Greens and then Labor. I do so with no passion though.

As I have written in comments on other's blogs, I cannot remember an election where so many people are disillusioned.

Here are some links that might help you to decide.

Last election I voted below the line in the Senate and I am sure I mucked it up. Numbering to 97 is hard. 

I just noticed the Stable Population Party running in my electorate. Perhaps I will vote for them. Here is a snip I like. This is what The Greens should be on about.

The Stable Population Party is a sustainability party with a major focus on the everything issue - population. We are concerned with environmental, economic and social wellbeing.

Australia's population is currently growing by over 1000 people per day. That adds up to over one million people every three years - the size of Adelaide! It's no wonder Australia's quality of life is being degraded.

From a population of 23 million today, under Liberal/Labor policies we are on target for 40 million by 2050 - and rising! We say let's slow down and stabilise at around 26 million by 2050. You can vote for this sensible and sustainable path via the Senate ballot paper.

Do it at your leisure beforehand and just copy, if you want to vote below the line.

Just too hard.

If you want to bring back the death penalty and jail gays and women who give birth out of wedlock, perhaps this is of interest.

The last link and the best in my opinion is from our ABC. It told me in seconds exactly what I wanted to know.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Winning a lottery

In spite of receiving emails saying that I have won the lottery, we have not. We need to win to pay for new things though. I finally relented and we bought a tablet. It is not a computer but just a big phone and it works very very well. R loves it. Samsung Galaxy 3 10.1 or something like that.

The 33 year old Revolta is going to god. Although it still works, both of us are finding it so heavy to haul around and hard on our backs.

 It has been replaced by this. Well it will be once I assemble it.

There you go. It runs from a rechargeable battery and is very light and a breeze to use and to clean. It's a Dyson Animal. There seems to be not a thing that has not been thought about in its design. It just works.

We bought a new microwave when we first moved here some 11 years ago. It did not take long for the display to fail to the point where it could barely be read. The interior had started to corrode and the last straw was the light stopped working. I will add it was extremely cheap. So this is our new Whirlpool. Of course it is loaded with features, most of which will never be used. It is reasonably quiet, which is good.

Last Thursday was a Mother Day. I had to get something for Mother at the local Ritchies Supermarket and I was asked if I wanted a free coffee tin. It is quite nice.

Monday, September 02, 2013

What made me laugh

Well, it is case of what made me laugh that I can remember.

I made people laugh today, well yesterday. I arrived at work and with a bit of an audience around me, I was handed an envelope by work management. It was a $20 gift card because I am male and I was working on Father's Day. I proclaimed to the audience that I felt a little disingenuous taking it. Much amusement. I went on, I did try once but it wasn't my thing. You should have heard them laugh. Straight men are so easy to amuse. If it was an audience of gays, it would have more along the lines that I have tried really hard to produce a baby, but I have been unsuccessful. There would not have been much laughter. They would have heard it all before.

Mario said to me that I was very being very candid to say such a thing. Hmm, Mario. I remember when he started at work some ten or more years ago and a female workmate said, look at the way he holds a cigarette. He is so girly.

As I am inclined, I went off an a tangent before I even started to write this post.

I broke up today when listening to a podcast where someone was talking about a friend who had returned from Bali with some high quality knock off movie dvds. He said they were of blu ray standard and the sound quality superb, only broken by someone standing up in the cinema and walking out and this walking out person appeared in the movie, and a wtf moment happened to the viewers of the dvd. Ok, not so funny here, but it was when delivered by a comedian.

My grandmother did not watch much tv. My memories of 60s/70s tv is that there wasn't much to watch.  She did like to watch On the Buses and the Penthouse Club. At any double entendre, she would let out a little shriek and clap her hand over her mouth. I could see she was laughing but trying not to. The brilliant Mary Hardy on the Penthouse Club could always induce an extra loud shriek from Grandmother. The gene did not pass on to her daughter, Mother. Mother does not clap her hand her over her mouth at something funny and naughty, but maybe the gene has passed on to me.

I enjoy watching the brief Audrey's Kitchen on our ABC tv. Is she taking the piss out of Nigella? But I did have my own hand over my mouth laughter suppressing moment when I heard Audrey describing how to poach fruit. 'Keep pushing them down into the liquid, like you are drowning kittens'.

NB No kittens were killed in the production of this post or in Audrey's Kitchen, nevertheless, I am probably now hated by cat lovers.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Mural in Prahran ruined

This mural has been graffitied so badly I expect it will have to painted over. Scum.

The Inner Circle Part 2 of 3

It was only a short walk and so did not take very long. I walked from Royal Parade to Royal Park Station following the old inner circle railway line which is now a walking and cycling path.

I left the tram in Royal Parade and although I wanted to head west, I had to cross the road to get onto the path to use the tunnel under Royal Parade. Just before entering the tunnel are these brick 'things'. I am not sure what their role was and could not even guess.

The tunnel under Royal Parade was quite unexciting. It would have to be a good bit higher for a train using overhead electrical wires to pass under, so it probably has a ceiling added after the train stopped running.

A substantial staunchion and an old train signal.

Here is a bit closer. How wonderful that it was left there.

Now this looks more like a bridge for trains to travel under as I am about to go under The Avenue.

Maybe some kind of supports for the overhead wiring.

I am still following the route of the disappeared train line but trains don't travel up hills like this. The land was filled in at some point as this is where the train line meets the Upfield train line. The train went straight ahead and did not follow the path.

On the other side of the hill you can see by the width of the staunchions that another train line ran along here. The driver of the approaching train blew his whistle at me. Whether it was a friendly whistle to someone he recognised as being interested in the old train line, or a get off railway property whistle, I am not sure.

Somewhere along here the single inner circle line would have joined the mainline before reaching the visible platforms of Royal Park Station. But did the inner circle join the main line or was it a separate line. I query this only because the outbound platform at Royal Park has a newish shelter and could have been brought closer after the inner circle closed. But I don't think so.

I think these are crested pigeons. I first saw some at my stepmother's in the north of Victoria maybe ten years ago. I had never seen them in Melbourne until quite recently.

Royal Park Station is a lovely building, on the city bound side. It is little more than a pebbledash bus shelter on the other side.

It is of course the station for visitors to the Royal Melbourne Zoo. The lions and tigers were silent.

The local kiddies artwork, I assume. Delightful.

I don't catch trains on a regular basis, but I am somewhat informed about them. Of course I just missed a train back to town. I could have caught the tram, but R and myself did this once when we walked in Royal Park and it took forever. I correctly guessed that the Upfield line ran a twenty minute daytime service.  I waited for the next train and the platform announcement said it was cancelled. Staff was sweeping the platform and even she went and pressed the button to find out next train time information when she heard the announcement. Yes, there was an issue, but not with the inbound train, as the public announcement had informed us, but the outbound one. The announcement was totally wrong. I had seen both the up and down trains and I noted the down train did not turn up. My up train arrived on time, twenty minutes after the last, while people on the opposite platform had to wait up to forty minutes. While I am sure there was a good reason, it is simply not good enough. Twenty minutes to wait for a suburban train is excessive.  Forty minutes is appalling. People of influence simply would not use such a service and use their cars and sit in congested traffic and still get to their destination more quickly.

As I said, I am only a casual off peak user of trains and I have found I have rather a lot to complain about over the years. I don't think I would want to be dependent on them and this is so not what it should be.

The two parts of the first section I walked are here and here, with a map at the latter.